baritone ukulele

CROW GLASS MIRROR (SONG-IN-PROGRESS)

“Take your broken heart. make it into art”–Carrie Fisher

A G D
Swamp perimeter
A G D
Sun sets it a’glitter
D A
Feeling distressed
G D
Yes, abandoned nest

A G D
Lying on grass
A G D
Just shiny crow glass
D A
Black feather nearby
G D
Where’d they fly

A G
Neaten up their home
D G
So want to roam
A G
Been quite a night
A D
I’m ready to take flight

A G D
Lay down my shawl
A G D
Back against a tree wall
D A
Take out the pieces
G D
Pile of glass increases

A G D
Like a kid’s jigsaw
A G D
To the tune of a distant caw
D A
They form a circle
G D
And then a skull

A G
A fully formed mirror
D G
Couldn’t be clearer
A G
I see my cracked face
A D
Safe in a hiding place

A G D
Message from a crow
A G D
Definitely time to go
D A
Glass back in the nest
G D
Feeling less distressed

A G D
Final possession in the trunk
A G D
I still have lots of spunk
D A
Foot on the gas pedal
G D
I tried, I deserve a medal

A G
Driving through the night
D G
Finally taking flight
A G
Smiling at the crow’s gift
A D
I once again drift

D G A D
New art, new life…

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Abandoned nest by my swamp, crow mirror & feather

abandoned nest 2 sm px

SUGAR-TALKING BLUES

SONG-IN-PROGRESS REPOST

Walking along the road one Samhain night
Saw something odd, gave me a weak-legs fright
Hot pink dragon glowing in moonlight
Stretched over its hoard, man, what a sight

Now I don’t drink alcohol or smoke weed
Although decades in the past I partook of the seed
True, tonight I celebrated my control freed
Caffeine and chocolate imbibed with speed

Dragon snored away so I crept near
Have to confess, did feel fear
But wow! Her hoard was oh so clear
Mounds of candy corn celebrating the solar year

Orange and yellow and white sugar treat
My parents used to call it “chicken feet”
In prep for Thanksgiving I’d gobble it neat
I confess sugar and dye is my favorite eat

Shoveled the hoard into my backpack
Pausing to eat a midnight snack
Until the sugar high made me slack
And I must’ve passed out on the dragon’s back

Woke up feeling a pretty hot fire
The dragon yelling, thought I’d expire
“I didn’t do it!” I screamed like a liar
She wrapped her tail around me, I was lifted higher

“How shall I punish you, my thief?”
“I’m so sorry, but I’m addicted,” I said with grief
“Well it is Halloween so we’ll stay in the motif”
“Yes, I will!” I cried in relief

“Play me a song with your ukulele
Sing something sad and achingly lonely”
“I will,” said I gladly, “although I’m crappy”
Kindly she said, “Music is soothing even from a wannabe”

So I played and sang and swore I saw
A few tears wiped away with her claw
I sang and played til my fingers were raw
And then she thanked me, the sugar outlaw

I hurried home grateful to be unharmed
Swore I’d never steal, especially when unarmed
Sugar is my downfall but now I’m disarmed
And thankful that for once, I was charmed…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Anu Grace, Dragon Uke
https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Uke-Anu-Grace/dp/B00B0LKYRW
10-29-18

IMAGE: My dragon & Baritone Ukulele

dragon4-sm-px

SONG OF THE SOLSTICE

 

My annual song for Make Music Day and the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice/Southern Hemisphere Winter Solstice. Peace and good health to us all<3

C/ Today no peppermint Em/ tea
C/ No espresso Em/ coffee
G/ Best is the Em/ extraction
G/ Dripping from aromatic Em/ skin
A/ Xanthos-lemon Em/ juice
A/ Pressed between pomegranate Em/ lips

C/ Slipping through sultry G/ water
G/ Fresh from the Earth’s C/ sluice
C/ And I offer to G/ you
G/This catholicon of C/ love

C/ Blind taste test Em/ seen through
C/ The sun above Em/ sparkling
G/ Lighting up the Em/ longest day
G/ While indelible Em/ music plays
A/ Fine-tuned strings Em/ echoing
A/ Through circle-of-life Em/ holes of sound

C/ And the day G/ Fades away
G/ Into tie-dyed C/ black denim
C/ The matching color G/ of your eyes
G/Lemon and pomegranate C/ until sunrise
C/ Dew filtered through G/ you

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) words & chords
IMAGE: Baritone Ukulele & Sunflowers

These chords for baritone ukulele or guitar (DGBE)
Can replace A with D for smaller ukuleles (GCEA)
Can replace Em with Am for smaller ukuleles (GCEA)

 

 

 

COUNTERBALANCE

(song-in-progress DGBE tuning for Baritone Ukulele or Tenor Guitar)

D/You’re afraid of getting
G/What you want
Dm/So you push me Am/away

D/You grind your jaw
G/Like broken glass
Am/Leading my heart G/astray

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day

D/I don’t know how
G/To show you
Dm/We belong as Am/one

D/Why’re you so scared
G/Of love
Am/Arctic as the midnight G/sun

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day

D/Your words freeze
G/My heart
Dm/It drops down to my Am/knees

D/Losing my eloquence
G/Merely stiltiloquence
Am/Off the roller coaster G/please

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day
C/Hit the ground Am/one day
C/Slam right into it Am/one day…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Flamingo Love in the Dirt

HALLWAY UKULELE (memoir)

Beloved but battered
Blah, blah, blah
Can’t say enough
Love it badly
Patiently waiting
In heat and humidity
For me to sling it over
My narrow shoulders
And make it sing
Remembering
New teenager me
Raging Chakiris* crush
As he sang
Roses and Lollipops
Lollipops and Roses
Oh, the garbage we moon over
When young
Believing in romance
And love
Old now, don’t like the lollipops
But still adore roses
Yet
Who knew I’d be banging away
On my hallway baritone
Singing songs about
Life’s disappointments
Yet
Yet
So much fun to strum
And on really bad days
Can raid my stash
In a clothes closet pocket
Peanut butter and chocolate
Almost as good as music
And truly superior
To two-timers I have known
In the realm of romance…

*Actor-singer-dancer George Chakiris (unable to find the video)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Red roses & baritone ukulele

NATURE’S MUSIC

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

Magical Mulberry
Playing baritone ukulele
In stark sand instead of snow
Live Oaks sheltering
Woodpeckers and Crows
Do we get what we need?
The Stones’ Jagger thinks so

Years living in the city
Happiness was a vacation
Tent, fire and scenery so pretty
Mountains in the Poconos
Brandywine River nights
Drinking coffee and cocoa

Now I live in a tin camper
Surrounded by trees and swamp
Small, only two lots
Didn’t get what I wanted
(Victorian home with gingerbread
And secret passages to mysterious rooms)
But wouldn’t trade what I have today
24-7 camping life
What a way
To spend these holidays
On Nature’s 2-lot beauty
Rewarded in my old age…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Mullberry playing baritone ukulele

*YouTube video You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Rolling Stones

O HOLY MEMOIR

Why cry
When playing and singing
O Holy Night
I miss my high soprano
Soaring above the All City Choir
I cry for my youth
But hey
Think of that time
Tenth grade
I was being bullied in the girl’s bathroom
Bus tokens stolen
No boyfriend
Unknown autism making me
The school alien
Social Misfit of teenage hell
But that was then
And today, my voice
O Holy Voice
Gone
So I’m strumming the song
Didn’t know how to play
Ukulele in Tenth grade

But

And this is a positive
can play it now

Cracked singing
Like some boy entering puberty
High
Low
High-and-Low
Yet O Holy Night
Makes me cry
And I can’t see the chords
On the songbook by the time
I finish it
But WHY cry
Lost youth
Actually
My life is better than it was
In tenth grade
Yeah, I’m old
Yeah, really don’t do
Social niceties now or then
But a mere thousand miles away
Live my sons and granddaughter
Got enough money
To eat and dress and buy songbooks
So why
Why cry
For times past
When the truth is
Tenth grade sucked
Except for the voice
Soaring into the aethers
O Holy Memory…
(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Baritone, songbook, sunflower (planted by birds)

BARITONE UKULELE SONG IN PROGRESS

(WITH BASIC CHORDS–NEEDS LOTS OF WORK)

 

Am/ Is it our destiny to always be Em/ apart
Am/ Mending fragments of an empty Em/ heart
Dm/ Will we suffer, unable to Em/ touch
Dm/ Love and truth not meaning Em/ much
Am/ Why no gazing in each other’s Em/ eyes
Am/ Why no chance to weave faithful Em/ ties

 

CHORUS

 

A/ Never, never must we sever
G/ Esoteric linkings of us forever

 

Am/ Perhaps we’ll meet in a cold,dark Em/ place
Am/ Celestial bodies reflecting from each Em/ face
Dm/ Silver astral chords tethered to Em/ Earth
Dm/ Experiencing a long-awaited spiritual Em/ rebirth
Am/ Celebrating the moment we finally Em/ meet
Am/ Discarding the sadness of being Em/ incomplete

 

CHORUS

 

A/ Never, never must we sever
G/ Esoteric linkings of us forever

 

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Baritone Ukulele D, G, B, E

BARITONE UKULELE HAIKU STACK W-I-P

(those flamingos are at it again)

 

G7/ Lonely lifetime search

A/ Wandering through corridors

G7/ Turning the wrong way

 

A/ So close, I sense you

G7/ Separated labyrinth

A/ Blind inside a maze

 

Em/ Mysteriously

A/ Life’s ancient map has appeared

Em/ Atlas of my love

 

A/ Our hearts synchronized

G7/ Earth, water, air and fire

A/ Magic words to meet

 

G7/ Fantasies and dreams

A/ Fevered shadows of the real

G7/ Now dispelled by A/ you

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Tenor Turned Baritone (DGBE) simple strumming

FISHING LINE ANTHEM

 

What a way

To cost-effectively play

Ukulele

Why buy strings

That stretch and break

When Walmart sells

The key to unending fun

In a magical reel

Like the discovery of the wheel

Something to change my life

So I string my Tenor

Like a Baritone

DGBE

Like a 4-string guitar

(Who needs bass?)

And plunk

Strum

Sing in the silence of a

Swampy womb

Or an air-conditioned room

Fishing string producing

Musica Universalis

Music of the Spheres

Do you hear?

I do…

2 closeup with fishline sm px

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

Images: RockStar & fishing line & ukulele / fishing line & ukulele